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Hi. I have a 2005 Odyssey with 135,000 miles (original owner, bought new). Recently it nearly stalled and I learned the oil had run dry. It’s never leaked oil before and I’ve always had recommended maintenance. A mechanic replaced a gasket in the spool valve assembly and I thought it was fixed. $800
Soon it displayed the same symptoms (nearly stalled, decreased power) and upon checking the oil it had run out again. I took it to a local Honda dealership and this time they replaced the entire spool valve assembly, the valve cover gaskets the rear and front head plugs, O-rings for camshaft thrust covers, and rear and front UCG set, according to the estimate. That repair was nearly $3000.
soon after that I made about a 5 Hour drive that a friend had to follow me, I was informed that on occasion going up a hill or when giving the vehicle gas a brief puff of smoke would come out of the engine exhaust, but it was not continuous.
Fast forward a month and the vehicle nearly stalled at a red light and again it was out of oil.
I took it to the Honda dealership again and they said they couldn’t find a leak and they recommended a 1000 mile consumption test and think that the piston rings are bad. They gave me a ballpark figure that it would take about $4500 to repair the piston rings or they said that I could put a used engine in it and the only one they could find had 120,000 miles and would cost over $5000 to install. That’s only 15,000 fewer miles than the engine it has.
They didn’t comment upon how they checked for leaks. They didn’t say anything about a dry or wet compression test or a leak down test so I’m not sure how they determine that it isn’t leaking and that they feel the piston rings are bad.
I was really hoping I can take this vehicle to about 200,000 miles. My sister has an 07 Odyssey and it has 200,000 miles and they’ve never had a problem with an oil leak. I have never let the vehicle run hot or had any major problems with it and have always done recommended maintenance.
Any recommendations on if it is worth rebuilding/replacing the piston rings or if that is cost prohibitive should I just keep adding oil and run the vehicle until it dies? Any advice appreciated…
Lordy I hate car payments!
 

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WOW. After the first time it happened you probably should have been checking the oil every time before you started it. Expensive lesson.

I check my oil before I even back it out of my garage, so probably 2-4 times a week, don't think I've ever gone a whole month without checking it.
 

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I bet your Odyssey is an EX-L or Touring version with the VCM engine. If so, VCM has likely caused all your oil loss issues due to damaged piston rings. Muzzling VCM would have prevented this. The fact that your engine has been oil starved multiple times tells me you likely have major engine damage. You’ve sunk enough money into this fiasco. I recommend you move on. What’s sad is a simple $100 VCM muzzler likely would have prevented all this.
 

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For whatever the reason, if you've actually run your oil dry twice, I wouldn't even think of repairing your engine. You might look at a low mileage junk yard engine. Note, some of the larger yards work with local installers, and they guarantee the engine and the installation. Been there, done that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WOW. After the first time it happened you probably should have been checking the oil every time before you started it. Expensive lesson.

I check my oil before I even back it out of my garage, so probably 2-4 times a week, don't think I've ever gone a whole month without checking it.
Thank you. Lesson learned.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I bet your Odyssey is an EX-L or Touring version with the VCM engine. If so, VCM has likely caused all your oil loss issues due to damaged piston rings. Muzzling VCM would have prevented this. The fact that your engine has been oil starved multiple times tells me you likely have major engine damage. You’ve sunk enough money into this fiasco. I recommend you move on. What’s sad is a simple $100 VCM muzzler likely would have prevented all this.
Yes it has the ECO mode. That’s really tough to hear. Thought a “reliable” Honda could take me to 200k miles easy. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I bet your Odyssey is an EX-L or Touring version with the VCM engine. If so, VCM has likely caused all your oil loss issues due to damaged piston rings. Muzzling VCM would have prevented this. The fact that your engine has been oil starved multiple times tells me you likely have major engine damage. You’ve sunk enough money into this fiasco. I recommend you move on. What’s sad is a simple $100 VCM muzzler likely would have prevented all this.
Holy cow! I just looked up the issues it causes! I’ve had torque converter (around 40,000 miles), engine mounts (around 80,000 miles), and now oil leak, and consumption at 135k!
How do you select a VCM muzzled? I see different versions available. Figure might as well put one on and keep adding oil until it no longer holds enough compression to run.
 

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Vcm tuner 2 buy it


158609


 

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This is the best vcm muzzler install it and forget about it. Other vcm muzzlers have you change resistors for different climates like summer ,winter . I've had this for 10k on my odyssey never had eco active after install . Install takes 15min very simple. Good luck with your odyssey.
 

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This is the best vcm muzzler install it and forget about it. Other vcm muzzlers have you change resistors for different climates like summer ,winter . I've had this for 10k on my odyssey never had eco active after install . Install takes 15min very simple. Good luck with your odyssey.
Thank you so much! I checked out the video and it looks really simple! Definitely ordering ASAP to see if I can salvage some mileage from my Odyssey! In my research I’ve also learned a bad PCV valve could cause the simultaneous multi-site oil leaks that I’ve already had repaired. That replacement looks super simple as well so ordering one of those pronto in addition! Honda mechanic never mentioned PCV valve at all! Nor did they mention compression/leak down tests before telling me they think piston rings are bad.
Thank you so much!
 

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Yes it has the ECO mode. That’s really tough to hear. Thought a “reliable” Honda could take me to 200k miles easy. :(
It’s a known Honda defect for which there was a class action lawsuit and Honda issued an extended warranty to cover repairs which entails replacing piston rings.
 

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Hi. I have a 2005 Odyssey with 135,000 miles (original owner, bought new). Recently it nearly stalled and I learned the oil had run dry.

Soon it displayed the same symptoms (nearly stalled, decreased power) and upon checking the oil it had run out again.

Fast forward a month and the vehicle nearly stalled at a red light and again it was out of oil.
Can you clarify your choice of words for me?

"Dry" and "out of oil" tell me you had to add appx. 5 qts. of oil to get back up to the "full" line. And ignore the oil pressure warning light that came on when the oil pump was sucking air. I suspect that neither was actually the case. Which could mean that the engine is not totally trashed by oil starvation.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Can you clarify your choice of words for me?

"Dry" and "out of oil" tell me you had to add appx. 5 qts. of oil to get back up to the "full" line. And ignore the oil pressure warning light that came on when the oil pump was sucking air. I suspect that neither was actually the case. Which could mean that the engine is not totally trashed by oil starvation.
Thank you so much for your input.
Upon coming to a stop, the vehicle started vibrating and nearly stalled. Upon pulling away from traffic light, it didn’t have full power and would only travel at about 10 mph.
The first time this occurred I pulled off and called my mechanic. I asked him if it was safe to drive or if I needed to have it towed to their shop about 4 miles away. He incorrectly diagnosed it over the phone as a spark plug coil and said it would be fine to drive it. Unfortunately I wasn’t astute enough to even think it might be the oil so I didn’t check it.
As the engine cooled during my phone call, as I drove off the engine returned to full power and I drove to the mechanic. I was lucky the engine didn’t seize up. They diagnosed it as a bad gasket in the VVT (spool valve) assembly and replaced it. I thought it was fixed and went on my merry way.
The second time it occurred just 2 to 4 weeks later, I came to a stop sign and it exhibited the same symptoms. I immediately stopped and checked the oil and it didn’t register on the dipstick. As I recall it took about 4 quarts to bring it to the normal full line.
This time I took it to the Honda dealership and that is when they diagnosed leaks from multiple sites. With just about every gasket that could possibly leak replaced, I thought surely this time I was good to go.
Fast forward about a month and the same symptoms recurred at a traffic light. I added oil and returned it to the dealership and they said they could find no leaks and want to do a consumption test and advised that it is likely the piston rings and I perhaps should look at getting a used replacement engine if it is using oil. ( Of course no mention of the VCM issue! I only just learned of that.)
In doing research, I’m learning that the VCM can cause premature wear on the piston rings as well as a host of other issues I’ve experienced. I’ve also learned however that there are other things besides the rings that can cause oil consumption so I’m hoping to check that out before scrapping a 135k vehicle that has been properly maintained by Honda standards.
Thank you @Ted for your inquiry and assistance.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It’s a known Honda defect for which there was a class action lawsuit and Honda issued an extended warranty to cover repairs which entails replacing piston rings.
Just learning about the law suit! It didn’t cover the 2005/6 despite having the same fault!
Thank you.
 

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Technically, the 2005-2007 engines and 2008-2013 engines were different. The earlier engines (VCM1), which is what you and I have since I have an 07, did not have nearly as many problems as the later engines (VCM2). Part of this reason is because our engines only have a 3/6 cylinder mode, whereas the newer engine has 3/4/6 cylinder mode.

Many people with the VCM2 engines were reporting oil consumption problems starting around 60-90K miles, but for most people, the problems with VCM1 didn't start until later, usually past 100K miles. That's probably why Honda didn't extend the warranty for 05-07 models since most people wouldn't experience problems until well past 100K miles, and no manufacturer will warranty an engine that long.

The only fix is to disable VCM, as mentioned, with any of the VCM disabling devices. I have no idea whether your engine is damaged or not from running it low on oil so many times, but if you want to keep driving it, I would install the muzzler, change the spark plugs (which are likely fouled from all the oil burning), and do a succession of low-mileage oil changes (maybe 3K miles), preferably with synthetic oil, to clean out the engine. Who knows, you might be fine. And, of course, keep an eye on the oil level and don't let it run low ever again!

Also... if your sister has an LX or EX model (cloth seats), then her van does not have VCM at all. If she has an EX-L or Touring (leather seats), then she has the same engine as you.
 

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Hi. I have a 2005 Odyssey with 135,000 miles (original owner, bought new). Recently it nearly stalled and I learned the oil had run dry. It’s never leaked oil before and I’ve always had recommended maintenance. A mechanic replaced a gasket in the spool valve assembly and I thought it was fixed. $800
Soon it displayed the same symptoms (nearly stalled, decreased power) and upon checking the oil it had run out again. I took it to a local Honda dealership and this time they replaced the entire spool valve assembly, the valve cover gaskets the rear and front head plugs, O-rings for camshaft thrust covers, and rear and front UCG set, according to the estimate. That repair was nearly $3000.
soon after that I made about a 5 Hour drive that a friend had to follow me, I was informed that on occasion going up a hill or when giving the vehicle gas a brief puff of smoke would come out of the engine exhaust, but it was not continuous.
Fast forward a month and the vehicle nearly stalled at a red light and again it was out of oil.
I took it to the Honda dealership again and they said they couldn’t find a leak and they recommended a 1000 mile consumption test and think that the piston rings are bad. They gave me a ballpark figure that it would take about $4500 to repair the piston rings or they said that I could put a used engine in it and the only one they could find had 120,000 miles and would cost over $5000 to install. That’s only 15,000 fewer miles than the engine it has.
They didn’t comment upon how they checked for leaks. They didn’t say anything about a dry or wet compression test or a leak down test so I’m not sure how they determine that it isn’t leaking and that they feel the piston rings are bad.
I was really hoping I can take this vehicle to about 200,000 miles. My sister has an 07 Odyssey and it has 200,000 miles and they’ve never had a problem with an oil leak. I have never let the vehicle run hot or had any major problems with it and have always done recommended maintenance.
Any recommendations on if it is worth rebuilding/replacing the piston rings or if that is cost prohibitive should I just keep adding oil and run the vehicle until it dies? Any advice appreciated…
Lordy I hate car payments!
I never assume that any mechanic has fixed a problem. Before paying a mechanic, I find out what is wrong. After a mechanic works on my vehicle, I check, double-check, and triple-check their work. If the seals were bad, wouldn't you have found oil in the driveway or on the pavement where the van was parked? Wouldn't there have been fresh and dirty oil under the engine and transmission, and on the frame of the car? You paid two mechanics thousands of dollars for work that did NOT fix the problem. Plus, you assumed the problem was fixed and never checked the oil level until it was too late? No disrespect to you, but you are paying mechanics to make your life more difficult. You are a prime example of why drivers either need to learn about the vehicles they drive or have a close friend or relative who knows. I would go back to the mechanics at both garages and ask for your money back. Better, threaten to take them to court for misdiagnosing the problem and destroying the engine. You will be happier if you never trust anyone to do things correctly. Use common sense, and check to make sure that you are getting what you pay for. In this case, checking the oil level every day would have been smart.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There was oil splattered in the engine compartment. Yes it would’ve been smart. Was foolish to trust. I work in health care and often feel the same - don’t know how someone without a relative educated in pertinent matters wades through. Having a friend or relative that knows about automobile mechanics is a happenstance occurrence that doesn’t work out for the majority of us. Unfortunately most of us don’t have the opportunity to make ourselves experts in matters of such complexity and suffer the ills as a result. At least I’ll take my vehicle’s “blood pressure” from now on...
Thank you for your feedback.
 

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People don't come with an owner's manual that outlines reasonable care. Autos do. One need not have or become an expert, only know how to read and spend a couple hours doing so.

One is not a disadvantaged victim because (s)he does not RTFOM.
 
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